Edo LP gov primaries: Party reassures Olumide Akpata over concerns

…Says some claims inaccurate

Labour Party, LP, has reassured one of the party’s governorship aspirant in Edo State, Mr. Olumide Akpata over some of the concerns he raised in the letter to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, noting that some of his claims were inaccurate.

Publicity Secretary and Image maker, Edo State LP, Sam Uroupa in a statement on Tuesday, said:

“The Edo State LP has taken note of a letter dated February 18, 2024, addressed to the Chairman of INEC, Maitama District, Abuja, by Olumide Akpata, a gubernatorial aspirant for the Edo 2024 election.

“This letter, which has been circulating in various media outlets, raises urgent concerns regarding the perceived lack of preparedness of the Labour Party for the Edo gubernatorial primaries and is directed to Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

“Normally, we would not have replied to the letter; however, due to the concerns regarding integrity, fairness, and transparency raised about the party in relation to the ward congress and primaries process, we find it necessary to provide some clarifications.

“To set the record straight, Olumide Akpata complained that there is a complete blackout of information on the venues for the 192 ward congress scheduled to hold on February 20, 2024, is not true.

“Upon the issuance of the guidelines and schedule for the congress and primaries, it was explicitly mentioned that the congresses would convene at the ward headquarters of the 192 wards, as outlined in the guidelines.

“This information alone adequately informs aspirants, delegates, and party members about the designated venue for the congress. Also, the Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Edo State chapter was duly communicated to via a letter dated February 15, 2024, with Ref. No.: LP/ESO/INEC/2024-322 notifying them of the ward congress taking place on February 20, 2024, in the wards secretariat across the 192 wards in Edo State.

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“He also stated that the party has failed to publish the specific guidelines detailing a step-by-step process governing the ward congress and primaries is inaccurate.

“This is because the party conducted a global press conference on January 31, 2024, during which the precise activities, along with designated times and dates for the congress, were communicated to aspirants, party members, and the general public.

“Additionally, the assertion by Akpata that the Labour Party was hesitant to organise a stakeholders meeting is incorrect.

“The party has been organising series of stakeholder meetings to inform them about the strategies and activities scheduled for the congress and primaries.

“Sessions were conducted with aspirants from Edo Central, Edo South, and Edo North Senatorial districts on January 18, th, 22 and 23, 2024, respectively to update them on the forthcoming plans for both the congress and primaries, as well as the overall party status.

“In addition, meetings with various stakeholders and leaders were also arranged. At one of these stakeholder gatherings overseen by the National Chairman on February 4, 2024, individuals believed to be backed by the opposition parties and those trying to create an imaginary faction disrupted the meeting with protests.

“Akpata also claimed that he has confirmed from the leadership of law enforcement and security agencies that they are not aware of the party’s congress and primaries activities is not also true.

“This is because the party in a letter dated February 17, 2024, with Ref. No.: LP/ESO/CP.ED/320 addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command requesting for security details to cover the party primaries across the 192 wards in Edo State.

“The party in its wisdom also set up a screening committee for the delegates to the congress and has come up with its screening report that is already in the public domain of the various LGAs and wards.

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“Furthermore, Akpata’s claim that the lack of information and transparency regarding the primary election process resulted in a mass departure of aspirants from the party is unfounded.

“This is because those who withdrew or abandoned their supposed ambitions were not officially recognised as LP aspirants.

“Aspirants are individuals who have successfully purchased both the expression of interest and nomination forms, as opposed to those who merely expressed interest without completing the form purchase.

“None of the individuals in question acquired either the nomination form or expression of interest.

“Some of these individuals only utilized the party’s branding on social media platforms like Facebook to solicit funds and donations from LP supporters worldwide.

“After achieving their objectives, they abandoned their alleged ambitions based on flimsy and unverifiable excuses, as detailed in Akpata’s letter announcing their departure from the party or resignation from their ambitions.

“In conclusion, the LP leadership, led by Julius Abure as the National Chairman and Kelly Ogbaloi as the State Chairman, has consistently emphasized that ensuring a free, fair, and credible process in selecting the party’s gubernatorial flag bearer is non-negotiable.

“The party is determined to steer clear of the recurring errors seen in the APC and PDP, which have hindered the country’s progress and perpetuated poor governance.

“Under this leadership, the LP is at the forefront of advocating for electoral reform in Nigeria to establish a framework for transparent, equitable, and trustworthy processes in electing leaders, ultimately aiming to foster good governance,” he added.

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